In next-door’s garden
there’s a sparkling circle of water,
unruffled by wind and rain.
I often wonder
if the refection of leaves and clouds,
if its pristine perfection
has ever been cracked,
shattered by the density of stone,
perforated by herons.
Are there even fish
in that quiet, crystalline water;
does any pond life exist?
Kim M. Russell, 13th April 2018
My response to The Poetry School NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 13: Moore Syllabics
Ali says that nobody likes syllabics; the free verse lot think it’s just metre in disguise, while the formalists think it’s cheating. He explains syllabic master Marianne Moore’s signature technique as follows: write a first stanza, usually of irregular line lengths, and then use that stanza as a blueprint for subsequent stanzas. He gives as an example the first stanza of her poem ‘Black Earth’: the first line is 4 syllables, the second is 6 (Moore gives ‘natural’ its full 3 syllables), the third is 13, and so is the last. The second stanza follows the same pattern, and so on until the end of the poem.
Ali wants us to write a poem either with an old stanza we’re stuck on or we can write our first stanza especially for the prompt. The only additional rule is that we’re not allowed to break words across lines (‘sub-/Merged’) as Moore does.